Hughie Fury’s old school training camp

Credit:  Photos by Hennessy Sports/Karen Priestley –

WBO heavyweight title challenger Hughie Fury has based himself at a spartan-style training camp at Lake Windermere as he heads into the biggest fight of his life against undefeated WBO champion Joseph Parker. Fury has set up camp in the mountains with his father and trainer Peter for his showdown with Parker on Saturday 23rd September at the Manchester Arena.

While thousands of tourists and holiday makers enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the Lake District, Fury is experiencing the flip side and is putting his body and mind through hell in the rough and brutal surrounding terrain to become the first man to beat Parker.

The 22-year-old Manchester star is going through a daily grueling schedule of long mountain runs and sprints, log chopping, free climbing mountains and lake swimming sessions, alongside sparring and boxing gym session and believes that this will give him the extra edge to become the new WBO world champion.

“We’ve come up here just to do runs in the past and we’ve always said that this would be a fantastic place to set up a training camp and what better time than now for the world title fight against Parker,” said Fury, the undefeated WBO mandatory and number one ranked challenger.

“This is absolutely perfect for me, I love the outdoors and the fresh air and the feeling of getting back-to-basics is getting the very best out of me. The greats of boxing like Ali, Dempsey and Louis all did it this way, in modern times we’ve all gone scientific with boxing training, but there’s a lot to be said about training the old way and I feel fitter and stronger than ever before.”

“I’m training at altitude with my some of the mountain runs leaving my lungs burning, I’m pulling tires attached to my back on uphill sprints, free climbing up the side of mountains that leave my arms and fingers burning and then I’m going for endurance swims and sprints in the freezing lakes.”

“Then there’s the log chopping, it used to be common place for boxers to do this in the past, but it seems to have died out with some boxers going all body beautiful with weights in the gym. It strengthens every muscle in your body from your hamstrings, calves, quads and gluts to your abs, lats, traps, deltoids and pecs while working my cardiovascular endurance,”

“When the hard training is done for the day, then I can just rest and look out at the stunning and peaceful scenery around me, but strangely focus my mind on smashing Parker to bits and tearing the world title away from him,”

“I know that wherever he is training now he’s putting himself through the same to keep hold of his title, but that is pushing me every day to train twice as hard and go through my physical and mental limits. I know that on the 23rd September he won’t have an answer to what I’ve got.”

 Photo: Hennessy Sports/Karen Priestley

Peter is overseeing his son’s training and implementing the fight strategy to defeat the fearsome puncher Parker who has 18 KOs from 23 fights. 

He masterfully guided his nephew Tyson to his stunning victory over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, who had not been defeated in nearly 11 years, to become the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion and believes Hughie can pull off a similar feat against Parker.

“Ali trained at Deer Lake and many of the greats trained at Big Bear in California, more recently Gennady Golovkin. The benefits are ten-fold training here in Lake Windermere. It’s the best way to train, it’s outdoor, non-polluted, rigorous mountain runs, quarries, tree and log chopping, lakes for swimming, it’s got everything we need. Then we’ve got tremendous indoor facilities as well with the local boxing gym in Windermere and Choices Spa and Health club in Troutbeck Bridge. Hughie will be in the best shape of his life against Parker and more than prepared. Everything thing we do is to win and he’ll be the new WBO World Champion.”

www.fightnews.com/hughie-furys-old-school-training-camp/1832

Photos: Flanagan, Petrov Putting in Work – With Tyson Fury

Former Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury came out to support his fellow Mancunian Terry Flanagan at Frank Warren’s open workouts at The Printworks earlier this evening. Flanagan makes the fifth defence of his WBO Lightweight World Title against dangerous Russian Petr Petrov at the Manchester Arena this Saturday, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

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Fury, the former linear, WBA Super, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine World Heavyweight Champion, watched on as local hero Flanagan was put through his paces by trainer Steve Maylett in front of hundreds of Manchester fight fans.

terry-flanagan (1)Undefeated Flanagan, 32-0 13 KO’s, looked in fantastic shape ahead of the toughest fight of his career and treated fans to a scintillating display of speed and power. The proud owner of the longest undefeated record in British boxing was delighted to see Fury showing his support and backed the man who dethroned long-reigning Heavyweight icon Wladimir Klitschko way back in 2015 to win his belts back.

“It was brilliant seeing big Tyson here showing me some support,” said Turbo. “We are both Manchester lads and want to make our city proud. He shocked the sporting World by beating Klitschko in Germany and I plan on shocking the World by beating Vasyl Lomachenko after I deal with Petrov on Saturday.

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“Like everyone in boxing, I can’t wait to see Tyson back in the ring where he belongs. He is a man of the people and always puts a smile on your face. I’m backing him to win all of his belts back and reclaim his place as the best Heavyweight on the planet.

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“I’m over the moon with the turnout today. It’s great seeing so many young fans taking an interest in the sport and backing one of their own! There’s a massive buzz around the city and seeing all these fans here today has given me a massive boost.”

 

 

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Terry Flanagan vs. Petr Petrov tops an unmissable evening of action at the Manchester Arena; Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash for the WBO Interim World Title; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut along with a talent packed undercard.

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www.boxingscene.com/photos-flanagan-petrov-putting-work-with-tyson-fury–115333?print_friendly=1

When is Terry Flanagan vs Petr Petrov? WBO World Lightweight Championship fight, undercard, tickets, venue and television info

nintchdbpict000302071096-e1488884702848 WBO Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan and his challenger Petr Petrov / By Gary Stonehouse –

‘Turbo’ looks to continue his impressive unbeaten record against the tough Russian-born Petrov

TERRY FLANAGAN hopes to continue British boxing’s longest current unbeaten run against Petr Petrov this Saturday.

The Manchester-born southpaw will be defending his WBO Lightweight Championship in his home town.

This will be Flanagan’s fifth defence of his title, and he is going to face a big challenge to overcome his Russian opponent.

Petrov is the WBO’s second-ranked contender behind Felix Verdejo.

But with an impressive fight record himself, this one promises to be a thunderous clash in the north west.

When is Terry Flanagan vs Petr Petrov?

The undefeated champ will battle Petrov on Saturday April 8, 2017.

Flanagan will be fighting in front of his hometown crowd for the first time since October 2015.

He will be hoping for a similar result this time, as he trounced Diego Magdaleno inside two rounds.

nintchdbpict000302075504-e1488885066436 WBO Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan faces the media ahead of his fight against Petr Petrov

What TV channel is Terry Flanagan vs Petr Petrov?

The UK’s only full-time boxing TV station BoxNation will be screening the fight live.

However, they have teamed up with BT Sport so that customers can watch it live there too.

BoxNation is now included for all BT TV and Sky TV customers with a BT Sport pack – at no extra cost.

Where is the Terry Flanagan vs Petr Petrov fight being held?

The fight will take place at the Manchester Arena on Saturday April 8, 2017.

The 21,000-seater venue is based on Trinity Way, near Victoria Station.

Manchester fans are expected to flock out to cheer on their hometown hero.

nintchdbpict000285026371 Terry Flanagan celebrates his victory over Orlando Cruz

Who is on the undercard of Terry Flanagan vs Petr Petrov?

Liam Williams will be in action in a mouth-watering Super-Welterweight clash against domestic rival Liam Smith.

Williams recently won the WBO European Title with a win over Cardiff’s Gabor Gorbics.

Also on show will be two-time Olympic Flyweight gold medallist Nicola Adams.

She will be making her professional debut after an impressive amateur career that included Commonwealth, European and World honours.

Where can I buy tickets for Terry Flanagan vs Petr Petrov?

Tickets are still available in a number of categories for this fight.

www.thesun.co.uk/sport/3029544/terry-flanagan-petr-petrov-fight-wbo-world-lightweight-championship-undercard-tickets-venue-tv-info/

 

Smith-Williams is now for the WBO interim jr middleweight title

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The World Boxing Organisation today sanctioned the bout between Liam Smith and Liam Williams for the WBO interim super-welterweight world title. Smith and Williams’ showdown will take place at the Manchester Arena on Saturday April 8th, broadcast live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Promoter Frank Warren: “I am delighted to have delivered this opportunity for these two outstanding fighters. This fight has all the ingredients to be a fight the year contender and now, with the added prize of the interim belt, there is more than just pride on the line for both.

“It is well documented that Canelo has plans to step up in weight and that could well see the winner of this becoming a recognized world champion. It’s a great all-domestic clash that I don’t think will go the distance – they are going to come out swinging and it will be exciting while it lasts.”

Liam Smith: “I’m delighted that Frank (Warren) has delivered this opportunity,” said Smith. “I’d like to thank my management team and the WBO President Francisco ‘Paco’ Varcarcel for keeping faith in me. I said I would be a world champion again in 2017 and this is my opportunity. The winner of this is a world champion in waiting. I don’t think Canelo has any intention of defending the 154lbs world title.

This is a win-win situation for me. If I beat Liam Williams I’ll be in an unbelievable position again. If Canelo decides to defend his belt I think I could do a million times better against him in a rematch. It was well publicized that I had the worst training camp of my career heading into that fight. He’s a world class fighter and I want to test myself against elite fighters. If not, there are huge fights against the likes of Miguel Cotto out there for me. First and foremost I have to beat Liam Williams on April 8th.”

Liam Williams: “This is a massive opportunity for me,” said Williams. “It is a huge fight and a brilliant chance for me to propel my name to the top of the sport. This is going to be a proper fight and I’m delighted that Frank keeps on delivering these opportunities for me. There are some huge fights out there for me if I deliver on April 8th. I was already massively motivated for the Smith fight but this has given me another big boost. I’ve been working towards an opportunity like this all of my career and I’ll be bringing that belt back to Wales with me.

www. fightnews.com/Boxing/smith-williams-now-wbo-interim-jr-middleweight-title-398662#more-398662

Flanagan, Petrov quotes and photo

unnamed-7-1-600x400 Photo: Karen Priestley –

WBO Lightweight Champion of the World Terry Flanagan and his latest challenger Petr Petrov came face-to-face at a press conference today at the home of Premier League giants Manchester City ahead of their showdown at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 8th April, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Undefeated Flanagan, a City fanatic and season ticket holder at the Etihad Stadium, is gearing up for the fifth defence of his WBO strap and insisted no corners will be cut in his preparation for former World Title challenger Petrov.

“If I’m not 100% against Petrov I could slip up,” said Flanagan. “If I’m not on my game he’s a potential banana skin and I won’t get those big unification fights later on in the year. First and foremost I need to get in the gym and do the hard work. Me at my best beats him at his best. 

“He’s been at World level for years now and he’s right up there. He’s got four losses on his record but they were all against good fighters. Petr is a seasoned fighter but on the night I can adapt and deal with whatever he brings.

“Personally I don’t think you’ve seen the best of me yet. There’s still a lot more to come from me and I’m looking forward to showing people what I can do on April 8th. I still think I’m boxing within myself. I’ve never been behind in a fight so I’ve never had to show what I’m made of. You’ll see the best of me when I do go behind in a fight.

“My better nights are still to come, which says a lot a 32-0 and preparing to make my fifth World Title defence. Petrov is a great fighter, he can come at you and also box a bit. This is going to be a tough fight and your next fight is always your hardest fight. Every time I’ve boxed at arenas in Manchester I’ve come away with stoppage wins, I want to keep that up on April 8th.”

33-year-old Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KOs), a native of Russia who fights out of Spain, was stopped by Marcos Maidana in his previous attempt at a World Title back in 2011. Since dropping 12-round decision in 2013 to Dejan Zlaticanin, the WBO no.2 ranked danger man has won six fights in a row and says his experience gives him an edge over Flanagan.

“I’ve been waiting a very long time for another shot at a World Title,” said Petrov. “Finally it has come around and I think at the age of 33 this fight has come at the perfect time for me. I’m quicker and more agile than ever, I’m in the best form of my life.

“I’m stronger and I’m smarter than I was earlier in my career. That comes from training in America, it has made me a more intelligent fighter. Los Angeles is a great place for sparring, I’ve been sparring with southpaws from Japan, Russia and the United States in preparation for Terry. I understand how important sparring is and that’s what we’ll be paying attention to in the run up to the fight.

“I respect Terry as an undefeated World Champion, you have to. He is a very good boxer but I still think he has a lot to show. I’ve been around the block and fought a lot of different opponents. If I prepare well and execute my game plan I know I can beat him.”

Flanagan vs. Petrov tops a night of action at the Manchester Arena; Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times; slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut.

Elsewhere on the card former World Title challenger Jimmy Kelly takes on Bolton man Rick Godding in a tasty local tear-up; rising Super-Featherweight star Zelfa Barrett fights over six; Liverpool Super-Welterweight James Metcalf takes on Heywood’s Mark Thompson; undefeated Super-Lightweight Steven Lewis faces Andy Keates; Oldham Super-Middleweight Mark Heffron, Ellesmere Port Super-Welterweight Mason Cartwright, Manchester Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson and Super-Middleweight Anthony Leak complete a stacked card.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/flanagan-petrov-quotes-photo-394021

Fight Picks: Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 22:  Andy Lee (L) and Billy Joe Saunders (R)  pose for a photo ahead of the Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders Press Conference at the Grosvenor House Hotel on July 22, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 22: Andy Lee (L) and Billy Joe Saunders (R) pose for a photo ahead of the Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders Press Conference at the Grosvenor House Hotel on July 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Andy Lee looks to make the first defense of his WBO middleweight title against Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday. The evenly matched bout takes place at the Manchester Arena (Formerly M.E.N Arena) and airs live on BoxNation in the UK at 5:00 p.m. (including full supporting undercard) and on Showtime Extreme in America at 5:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Both fighters were very cordial towards each other in Box Nation’s “Head to Head.”

As Lee (34-2-1, 24 knockouts) touched upon, although both are southpaws they have very different styles. Lee the taller, rangier puncher while his mandatory challenger, Saunders (22-0, 12 KOs) is a smaller, more compact, busier fighter.

Lee, at 31, is five years older than Saunders who turned 26 back in August. Interestingly, Lee is also Tyson Fury’s cousin, though, unlike the heavyweight champion, is far more reserved and respectful of his opponents.

An interesting subplot appears to be that both are from travelling backgrounds, adding extra spice to an already well matched 50/50 bout.

The twice-postponed fight has given both men and their highly-respected corners, Adam Booth with Lee and Jimmy Tibbs with Saunders, further time to analyze each other.

Online gambling group bet365.com lists Lee at Evens (+100), while Saunders is priced at 4/5 (-125).  

RingTV.com asked 17 boxing insiders for their picks:

Anthony Crolla, WBA lightweight titlist

A genuine 50/50 fight with two fantastic fighters. It’s so hard to pick a winner. Does Billy Joe build up a lead and hold on to it in the second half of the fight or does Andy Lee catch up to him in the second half of the fight? Either way, I see the first half of the fight being Billy Joe’s and the second half being Andy Lee’s. I can’t pick a winner; it’s such a close fight.

Stephen Edwards, trainer of junior middleweight Julian Williams

Billy Joe Saunders UD 12 Andy Lee: I like Saunders to outbox Lee and win a unanimous decision.

Norm Frauenheim, The Ring/15rounds.com

Andy Lee TKO 11 Billy Joe Saunders: Saunders has a chance to catch Lee early with a big shot. But the resilient Lee knows that. Look for Lee to give away a few early rounds in an attempt to stay out of range when Saunders figures to possess all of his energy and most of his power. After the fifth, the momentum figures to swing in favor Lee, who will capitalize with a punishing attack for a late stoppage.

Jeffrey Freeman, KODigest.TV

Billy Joe Saunders SD 12 Andy Lee: It would be easy to see Andy Lee getting his Irish socks boxed off by Billy Joe Saunders on Dec. 19 before relying on his superior reach and punching power to land a knockout blow, thereby saving himself from defeat yet again. Against lesser caliber opponents John Jackson and Matt Korobov, that comeback formula has suited Lee well. In Saunders, the defending WBO champion is facing a world-class middleweight upstart with superb southpaw skills and a sturdy chin. Saunders will box smartly and look to score a win on points. Lee will hunt for bombs but never squarely find the target. Firefights will be rare in this one but, when they do break out, Saunders will be more capable of imposing his will. The pick is Saunders by split decision in a title bout that looks closer to the judges than it does to the fans in Manchester pulling for their challenger.

Joe Gallagher, trainer of the Smith brothers, Crolla and Scott Quigg

Billy Joe Saunders PTS 12 Andy Lee: It can go one of two ways: Billy Joe was a very good amateur. He does well with southpaws; he beat Tony Hill very quickly (TKO 1). Andy Lee has grown into the role of world champion and a very good world champion, good wins away from home in America, got dropped, got up and knocked a good fighter out (Matt Korobov) and went the distance then with (Peter) Quillin. It’s a tough fight. I just think Billy Joe sets about Andy Lee early and really gets into a groove. I really think Andy Lee’s in trouble. I think Billy Joe can go through the gears. On the other hand, I do feel if Andy Lee keeps upsetting Billy Joe and doesn’t allow him in, I think Andy Lee can pull away on a points win. I can’t see it being a stoppage. I think it’s gonna be points, tight, either or, I don’t think it’s gonna be an exciting fight either. I think it’s gonna be a very tactical fight. Andy Lee’s a champion with power but Billy Joe obviously he’ll be on a high after beating (Chris) Eubank (Jr.), full of confidence, determined. I think if it goes to the scorecards, I think Saunders might nick it, it’s the toss of a coin.

Tom Gray, RingTV.com

Billy Joe Saunders SD12 Andy Lee: Truthfully, I have no idea who wins this fight. I can make a compelling case for both men and the only result that would surprise me is a stoppage win for Saunders. As it is, I’m going to pick the challenger via split decision. I think, as the fresher fighter, he can perform with more consistency through 12 rounds and his motivation will be sky high. Lee has a major edge in experience and he’ll have his moments but I see Saunders with a razor-thin edge at the final bell. This is a great fight between two excellent technicians.

Lee Groves, RingTV.com

Andy Lee W 12 Billy Joe Saunders: A tough fight to call. Lee is more experienced in terms of opposition faced and miles traveled, plus he is three inches taller and packs the far bigger punch. His left cross is among boxing’s most lethal weapons and it can strike at any moment whether he’s leading or behind. Saunders is younger, quicker and will probably have more crowd support in Manchester. Both are southpaws, so neither will have that advantage. Also, both will be somewhat rusty since this will be the second fight for both in more than a year. I’ll go with the bigger puncher and the more seasoned campaigner amidst an explosive and nerve-rattling atmosphere.

Daniel Jacobs, middleweight contender

Andy Lee to defeat Billy Joe Saunders: I’m rooting for Andy Lee because I think that’s a bigger fight for me. Doing something in the US between the two of us would make a lot of sense. He has a huge following here in New York, just like me obviously. It would be a classic showdown that Brooklyn would appreciate. May the best man win between the two of them but, if Andy wins, I think it would be very interesting for both of us.

Reggie Johnson, former middleweight and light heavyweight champion

Andy Lee KO Billy Joe Saunders: I like Lee in this fight. I think his makeup, skill set, height and range will have his hand raised at the end of this fight. Lee by early/mid-fight KO.

Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, which promotes IBF/WBA middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin

Andy Lee PTS 12 Billy Joe Saunders: This looks to be a very competitive fight but I would lean toward Andy Lee because of his greater world title experience and power by decision.

Glenn McCrory, former cruiserweight champion and Sky Sports commentator/pundit

Andy Lee PTS 12 Billy Joe Saunders: I can see Andy Lee coming through on points in a very close, hard-fought fight. I think it’s an excellent fight. Billy Joe Saunders is a good talent. He’s young. It would not surprise me if he did beat Lee; it’s that sort of fight. I just think Andy Lee’s been there a bit more, the big KO to win the world title has obviously elevated him, so he’ll be on top of his game. He’s in the Adam Booth camp, which has helped him after (trainer) Emanuel (Steward’s passing). It’s been a lift to him. He’s flying high and I expect a close, hard-fought fight with Andy Lee coming out on points.

Jolene Mizzone, Main Events matchmaker

Billy Joe Saunders PTS 12 Andy Lee: I may be the only one picking Saunders but my feeling is that Saunders is the hungrier fighter. I also think Saunders’ southpaw style will benefit him in this fight. I take nothing away from Lee; he has the power. The question is: Does Saunders have the chin? I think it will be an interesting fight but, again, I’ll go with Saunders in a 12-round decision.

Marty Mulcahey, UCNLive.comBilly Joe Saunders PTS 12 Andy Lee: This match-up, to me, just has the signatures of a changing of the guard fight with an older champion who has endured many wars having his title usurped by a young challenger. Saunders is a little quicker of both feet and hand, as well as a little better boxer and, in boxing, a little means a lot. Saunders’ southpaw advantage is negated by Lee’s own but a tough, nip-and-tuck win over Chris Eubank Jr. is the type of preparatory victory needed for a challenger. I also think Saunders has the chin to ride out Lee’s often fight-saving power and the postponement from the original date works in Saunders’ favor, allowing him a keep-busy fight. All in all, the small things and intangibles line up in Saunders’ favor for a decision victory.

John J. Raspanti, Maxboxing.com/Doghouseboxing.com/Ringside Boxing Show

Billy Joe Saunders SD 12 Andy Lee: Boxing is all about styles. Billy Joe Saunders is a slick boxer. Andy Lee can slug. The question going into their bout is: Who has the advantage? Saunders is younger but Lee is taller. Saunders is the quicker man. Lee can end the fight with one punch. I have a feeling that Saunders will get off to a lead and hang on to win a razor-thin, split decision.

Lee Selby, IBF featherweight champion

Andy Lee KO Billy Joe Saunders: I’d say either Saunders points or Lee KO. If I had to pick, I’d say Lee.

Ronnie Shields, trainer of junior middleweights Erislandy Lara and Jermall Charlo

Andy Lee PTS 12 Billy Joe Saunders: Both guys are really good fighters and both guys are smart and really tough. The only reason I’m gonna give Andy Lee the edge is that he’s the champion. Andy Lee’s a different fighter now than he was, say, a year-and-a-half, two-years ago. Being champion has really molded well for him. He’s one of these guys, he’s always been a puncher but now he has confidence in his hands. He has confidence in his ability. You can’t take nothing away from Billy Joe Saunders because this guy can really, really fight but I would have to give the edge to Andy Lee because of the power and because of the confidence right now. I’m gonna say points because I think Saunders is gonna really put up a great fight. I think Andy Lee’s gonna outpoint him.

Paul Smith, former two-time world super middleweight title challenger

Andy Lee PTS 12 Billy Joe Saunders: I think it’s a really good 50/50; every time I’ve leaned away from Billy Joe, as in the [Chris] Eubank fight, he’s come out and proved everyone wrong and won well. I thought he done great against Eubank and really stamped his authority in the division. I think Andy Lee’s a very good fighter. I think he’s pretty vulnerable, at times, which makes him exciting but he’s a big puncher and awkward, strong southpaw, as is Billy Joe. It’s a close fight; if I had to toss a coin and put my money somewhere, I’d probably stick with the champion. Both nice lads, nothing would surprise me at all.

Final tally: 9-7 (and one undecided) in favor of Andy Lee to win Saturday’s middleweight title showdown with Billy Joe Saunders.

http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/406633-fight-picks-andy-lee-vs-billy-joe-saunders

Jimmy Kelly v Liam Smith: Kelly plans on joining growing list of Manchester world champions

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Underdog Jimmy Kilrain Kelly says no-one expects him to win as he takes on Liam Smith at the Manchester Arena

Wythenshawe boxer Jimmy Kilrain Kelly insists all of the pressure is on Liam Smith ahead of their world title showdown next week.

Kelly is aiming to become Manchester’s latest world champion when he faces Smith for his WBO light-middleweight title at the Manchester Arena on December 19. 

The 23-year-old is seen as a big underdog in the fight, with many pundits expecting Smith to easily win the bout.

Kelly is happy to play that role though, and he believes it will be a much closer fight than what people are predicting.

“Let’s have it right, no-one is expecting anything from me. People think Smith will blow me out early but I’m young and guarantee I’ll arrive on December 19 bursting with heart and ambition,” Kelly declared.

“I know I won’t fold. I’ll rise to the occasion. When I signed with Frank Warren I said I wanted a world title fight and he delivered, so I definitely think I’m ready and I’m happy to jump in.

“Even if I were to lose in good style, it’s still a win for me as my stock will rise and I’ll gain plenty of experience.

“All the pressure is on Liam. He dismisses me saying I’m his ‘Christmas wages’ but I’ve been around boxing and boxing people since I was four years old.

“I believe I’ve the strengths to overcome him. My manager Lee Beard has been around Smith’s camp and he has identified a few shortcomings from his recent fights which we believe we can exploit.

“I’ve also derived a lot of confidence from all the hard work I’ve been putting in at the gym, and having Ensley Bingham and Maurice Core in my corner will certainly help.”

Kelly has burst into the spotlight in recent months after having spent the majority of his career competing on undercards of small shows, but he doesn’t think that will be a factor in the fight.

“Just because I wasn’t boxing on TV doesn’t mean I didn’t learn my craft,” he added.

“I’ve served a quality apprenticeship on smaller shows and as a sparring partner to top guys like Matthew Hatton, Frankie Gavin, Tommy Langford, Brian Rose, Prince Arron and Vijender Singh.”

Kelly                                                                               Boxer Jimmy Kelly training at the Phil Martin Centre, Moss Side

Bolton-trained Smith will be making the first defence of the title he won by knocking out American John Thompson in October.

While Kelly is expecting to win the fight, he still believes that Smith will be at his 100 per cent best come fight night.

“Liam’s a quality kid and is the best of the brothers in my opinion, so win or lose, I know it’ll be a very tough night for me,” Kelly continued.

“He’s very patient and cuts the ring off well and I don’t doubt for one moment that he will train really hard and turn up in shape.

“I’ll be massively focused though and
mentally he could be looking past me and arrive a bit flat, so it will be a big mistake if he does.

“December 19 will be my sister’s 25th birthday as well and I intend on delivering her a world title as the perfect present.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/boxing/jimmy-kelly-v-liam-smith-10570585

British Middleweights Take Center Stage to Close Out 2015

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2015 has been a good year for the Middleweight division, as the rise of 2015 “Fighter of the Year” candidate Gennady Golovkin has given the weight class a ton of attention, going (3-0) in increasingly higher profile fights.

In November, Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez secured the WBC World Middleweight title with his win over Miguel Cotto.

And on December 5th of 2015, WBA World Middleweight Champion Daniel Jacobs entered his showdown with undefeated Peter Quillin a slight betting underdog, but his white wash of Quillin in less than 90 seconds established him as one of the top three talents in the weight class.

Before the end of 2015, two cards in England will present Middleweight fights that will add even more clarity to the WBO World Middleweight title picture.

On December 19th, veteran Andy Lee (34-2-1) faces the undefeated Billy Joe Saunders (22-0) in defense of his WBO Middleweight title at the Manchester Arena.

Lee won the belt back in December of 2014 when he defeated Matt Korobov to take the belt vacated by Peter Quillin.

Lee then fought Quillin in Brooklyn for his first title defense.

Quillin failed to make weight meaning the title was not on the line, but Lee fought Quillin to a respectable draw and retained his hold on the belt.

Saunders is from a traveler family and he represented Britain in the 2008 Olympic games, and the young southpaw has held a slew of regional titles while competing at a high level as a pro.

The books have Lee as slight (-130) favorite, with Saunders returning at (+110).

The December 12th event at the 02 Arena in London features a Middleweight fight that will also impact the WBO title seen as Chris Eubank Jr (20-1) takes on Gary OSullivan (22-1).

In this one, O’Sullivan is a wide (+650) underdog, with Eubank the favorite returning at (-1000).

The lone blemish on both men’s record is a loss to Billy Joe Saunders, and though it is not a perfect indicator, Saunders out-boxed O’Sullivan winning (120-109, 120-109 and 119-110) with the judges, while Eubank thoroughly tested Saunders in a match that saw a split set of judges 115-114 and 115-113 for Saunders while the third judge had it 116-113 for Eubank Jr.

Eubank has held an interim version of the WBA title he won after the loss to Saunders and he raised his stock further by destroying outclassed Tony Jeter in his US television debut on Showtime.

For O’Sullivan a win here would be a huge step up, but should Eubank Jr. win as expected he could be lined up to face the winner of Lee vs Saunders, with the re-match with Saunders with a world belt now in play perhaps the best financial option.

But it would be wrong to ignore Andy Lee in this fray, as he is the most seasoned of the group and is still in his prime at 31 years old.

With a win this Dec 19th and his experienced resume, Lee could be a candidate to face Daniel Jacobs in a truly international showdown at Middleweight.

With Triple G and “Canelo” waiting in the wings, we could be in for good times in the Middleweight division.

http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/articles/21850-british-middleweights-take-center-stage-to-close-out-2015

Liam Smith laughs off Jimmy Kelly challenge as ‘just wages for Christmas’

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While Jimmy Kelly is honoured to be getting into the ring with Liam Smith for the Liverpudlian’s first defence of his WBO world light-middleweight, the feeling certainly isn’t mutual.

The unbeaten Manchester man has landed himself a surprise crack at the world title, despite never having contested a British or Commonwealth title fight.

And Smith says it’s time Kelly puts his money where his mouth is even if it means teaching him a lesson.

“The couple of names we first asked for couldn’t get done and the fight is in five weeks time so we needed to hurry up,” said Smith.

Liverpool WBO Super-Welterweight champion Liam Smith is to face Manchester boxer Jimmy Kelly at the Manchester Arena on December 19th 2015 in the X-Mas CrackerJS76417270

“Jimmy Kelly is number eight in the rankings and he has been using my name for long enough, so now it’s time for him to back it up.

“That’s why I have that bit of fire in me because I was fuming with him for even mentioning me in interviews.

“He hasn’t won a British title and yet he’s talking about me. He’s got his wish now and I’m going to show him how wrong he was to call me out.”

Despite what Smith sees as a straightforward defence, there is little chance he’ll be taking Kelly’s challenge lightly. The Wythenshawe boxer has racked up a decent 16-0 record, claiming the WBO inter-continental title last time out against Martin Fidel Rios.

“There is no way in the world I’m going in underestimating him,” said Beefy. “I have always said a true champion defends his title; I have won and defended the British title in one of my best performances, and I’m going to do that again.

“Without sounding bad, I’m going to wipe the floor with Jimmy Kelly and show the difference in levels; why I’m there and why he shouldn’t. He should be fighting for a British or Commonwealth title, not fighting me.”

The 27-year-old feels more than confident of adding another name his list of victims and insists that not even Kelly’s corner believes he can do it.

He said: “His coach came and sat next to mine last time out in Manchester and said ‘we know we’re not ready for Liam, that fight is down the line’. This was at his last fight, but he has it now, in his next fight. I’ll prove they were right.

“For me, this is just wages for Christmas. It means I go on holiday and have a drink on Jimmy Kelly while lying on a beach somewhere.”

He added: “Do you think Jimmy Kelly is going to beat me on the back of Stephen winning his final eliminator, me winning a world title and Callum doing what he has done to Rocky Fielding? We’re absolutely flying; no way Jimmy Kelly is going to beat me December 19, not a chance.

“I’ll put everything into place and stop him late; don’t be surprised if I stop him early though.”

He continued: “I think he forgets that I chose to go to Manchester to fight a Manchester kid, it doesn’t bother me. I have done it before and I’ll do it again. He’s not the biggest ticket seller and I’ll not have the whole of the MEN shouting against me, but even if he did, it can’t help him.”

Moving forward, Smith wants to put the Mosley talk to one side, but does want to look forward to a big fight in 2016.

“I’m hoping to get a big name for April/May or maybe get on that February bill with a decent name. Whatever comes about, I’m happy. If I’m not happy defending a world title then I don’t know what will ever make me happy.”

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/boxing/liam-smith-laughs-jimmy-kelly-10428919#rlabs=1%20rt$category%20p$3